Overview of Core Mindfulness Skills

Mindfulness is central to Strengthening Your Conscious Self

A daily mindfulness practice should be the foundation of any health and wellness program. Hence the label “core” mindfulness skills for the first group of skills described below. The core skills are the first skills taught, and they underpin and support all of the other life skills. They are reviewed at the beginning of several of the other mindfulness modules and are necessary skills highlighted throughout the entire master class. Core mindfulness skills are psychological and behavioral translations of meditation practices from Eastern spiritual training. Mindfulness skills are as essential for therapists and skills trainers to practice as they are for participants. Indeed, clinicians’ practice of mindfulness has been found to be associated with a better therapeutic course and better outcomes. Thus mindfulness practice is ordinarily the first agenda item in therapy and coaching sessions.

The Importance of Practicing Mindfulness Skills

Mindfulness skills require practice, practice, practice. Mindfulness practice can be very difficult at first. Focusing the mind can take a lot of energy. Distractions may be frequent, and it is very easy to find that a few minutes after you started practicing your mindfulness skills, you have fallen out of it and are doing something else. I cannot overstate the crucial importance of behavioral practice in learning any new skill. Behavioral practice includes practicing control of one’s mind, attention, overt behavior, body, and emotions. What are some of your beliefs about the necessity of practice in learning. Do you believe you can learn a new skill without practice?

Overview: Core Mindfulness Skills

Three sets of skills form the backbone of mindfulness practice: wise mind; the “what” skills of observing, describing, and participating; and the “how” skills of practicing nonjudgmentally, onemindfully, and effectively.

Wise Mind:

Wise mind is the act of finding inside yourself the inherent wisdom that each person has within. It is the synthesis of the emotional parts of you and the reasonable parts of you.

“What” Skills:

The “what” skills are the skills that tell you what you should actually do when you practice mindfulness.




“How” Skills:

The “how” skills are “the skills that teach you how to practice your mindfulness skills. Without the ‘how’ skills, you can veer far away from mindfulness itself.

Acting nonjudgmentally

Engaging one-mindfully

Participating effectively

Copyright protected content:

In order to view the material in this section of the course, you must be a current or previous client of James Fitzgerald, MS. The content on this page has been adapted from DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition, by Marsha M. Linehan. Copyright 2015 by Marsha M. Linehan. Permission to use the information is granted to purchasers of DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition, and DBT Skills Training Manual, Second Edition, for personal use and use with individual clients only.